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Number of fatal large truck accidents continues to rise

Driving on the same road with large trucks is often risky because a simple bump can result in serious injuries or fatalities for Montana residents.

The recent findings of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding fatal truck accidents are alarming. According to the report, the number of people who died in large truck accidents has increased by 16 percent since 2009. Further, in 2012, the number of large-truck fatalities rose from 3,781 to 3,921. The NHTSA added that 2012 was the third consecutive year in which the number of large truck fatalities increased.

The upward trend of fatal large-truck accidents contributed to the overall total of highway deaths in the country. Based on the 2012 Fatality Analysis Reporting System, highway fatalities increased to 33,561 in 2012, an increase from the 2011 figure. Seventy-two percent of these deaths occurred in the first quarter of 2012, which involved mostly motorcyclists and pedestrians.

The rise of so-called fatals should remind truck drivers of their responsibility with respect to people's lives on the road. Although passenger vehicle drivers and truck drivers follow the same traffic rules and regulation, motor vehicles are no match for large trucks in the event of a crash. In Billings, Montana, and on all the nation's roads, truck drivers who negligently operate their big rigs pose a deadly threat to anyone on the road with them.

Those who sustain injuries as a result of large truck accident caused by negligence can consider pursuing legal action against the responsible party, whether that is the truck driver or trucking company. A successful personal lawsuit may hold a negligent driver liable for the economic and other types of damages. In the event of a fatality due to negligence, the victim's family members are entitled to file a wrongful death suit for compensation.

Source: The Trucker, "NHTSA: Fatals in Large Truck-Related Crashes Rose in 2012; Numbers' Misleading' ATA Says," Alison Young, Nov. 13, 2013

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